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Historic Farmland in Wading River Gets a New Lease on Life

News
Farms for the Future
January 22, 2021

Six acres of farmland in Wading River will now be back in production and contributing to the farmland history and future of this hamlet in Riverhead. Our thanks go to the foresight of the landowner and the commitment to farming by members of this historic farming community. At the end of last year, the Trust acquired the land – located on Route 25A – from Ken Barra.

The land, which has been fallow, is adjacent to productive farmland in the community. The Trust is working to secure the land’s permanent protection with plans to resell to a qualified farmer under our Farms for the Future Initiative.

In 2018, the Trust used grants provided by the NYS Department of Agriculture and Markets, to underwrite both our staff time for outreach to farmland owners, and the cost of appraisals for farmland, to support and encourage a dialogue about conservation options. These grants opened many avenues of discussions, including the one with Mr. Barra that has led to this recent acquisition. This highlights how important continuous communications with landowners are to ensuring that conservation opportunities can be found and acted upon. The dialogue with Mr. Barra began when he heard about the opportunities available from a farmer in the area. Reflecting on his recent experience, Mr. Barra said, “It was a wonderful experience working with the Trust.”

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We thank Mr. Barra for reaching out to us and working with our staff, led by Project Manager Julie Wesnofske, to see this land return to farming – and look forward to announcing future farmland protection initiatives in the hamlet and Town in the coming months.

For more information, contact Julie at 631.283.3195.

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